April 5th, 2004


Gethsemane and other prayers

We can never fully comprehend Christ’s agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, but at least we don’t have to misunderstand it. It is the agony of God and man in one Person, coming face to face with sin. We cannot learn about Gethsemane through personal experience. Gethsemane and Calvary represent something totally unique—they are the gateway into life for us.

Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest (5 April,"His Agony and Our Access")

Stimulating thoughts from Chambers this morning. Not sure where they sit with me just yet, but the need to have an immediate and firm opinion on all things is a stronghold of pride's tyranny in me. I will sit with them instead.

One of the things giving me quiet happiness is that I don't have any evening commitments the next two nights at minimum. If it changes, it changes; in the meantime, the prospect of having the space is nice. However, I also want to be deliberate in using the time well. Not sure that looks at all like a schedule or any kind of "filling" of the time, but some clear priorities might be wise and protect me against the aimless boredom that can be the gateway to despondence. Purpose is a good vaccine and in no way antithetic to rest.

Planning to add prayer time at the Chapel of St. Ignatius to my weekday morning routine. The prayer meeting on Tuesdays and Thursdays is already there; this would be time in silence and solitude with my Abba in addition. Two thoughts on this: first, I realized last week how amazing it is that I have come to reclaim it as a place of prayer—since the events of the Year of Hell, it is in some respects quite literally a feast set by God in the place of my enemies (Psalm 23:5). I am blessed, for how many of us get to walk the truth out so physically? Second, I often feel weak because I struggle with focus and distraction when I pray in my own home, yet Jesus Himself went away to pray (Matthew 14:22-23; 26:36-44; Mark 1:35; 6:45-47; 14:32-40; Luke 6:12-13; 9:28-32; 22:41-45). Not a bad pattern to follow—"go and do likewise."
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